For Immediate Release:
September 20, 2021
Phil Sherwood (MACGH) 617-426-4554
Rob Maya (ECPG) 360-352-6133
Video Game Addiction Training Launched
The Evergreen Council on Problem Gambling and the Massachusetts
Council on Gaming and Health address at-risk gaming and Gaming
Disorder, from prevention through treatment and recovery
The Evergreen Council on Problem Gambling (ECPG) and the Massachusetts Council on Gaming and Health (MACGH) have long been seen as national leaders in responsible and problem gambling programs and trainings. These groups, representing both coasts, have now partnered to deliver an innovative and groundbreaking training that addresses at-risk video gaming and Gaming Disorder.
The virtual training, known as Foundations in Gaming Disorder (FGD), begins this week. Details can be seen here.
In 2019 the World Health Organization added Gaming Disorder to its International Classification of Diseases, a diagnostic guide for clinicians. Experts like Marlene Warner, Executive Director of MACGH, and Maureen Greeley, Executive Director of ECPG, believe by defining this set of problematic behaviors, medical professionals—from doctors to insurance providers—can help advocates and clinicians to more readily identify and treat them.
Warner points to the intersection of video gaming and egaming with gambling products ‐ and gambling finding its way into video gaming and online products as to being a key reason both organizations have taken on Gaming Disorder.
This week also represents Responsible Gaming Education Week (RGEW). RGEW was created by the American Gaming Association (AGA) in 1998 to increase awareness of problem gambling among gaming industry employees and customers and to promote responsible gaming nationwide.
Recent studies suggest that several practices in video games, such as token wagering, real money gaming, and social casino spending, are significantly linked to problem gambling. Greeley said these findings linking video games to problem gambling, and the realization that so few organizations currently address the issue of problem video gaming, and video game addiction, compelled ECPG and MACGH to collaborate on this much-needed training. “The void for professional training, advocacy, and public awareness around video gaming disorder is enormous,” said Greeley. “The industry is growing. Video gaming technology is becoming more accessible. And the public health concerns around it are rising.”
“Video gaming may be a newer area for our organization, but it’s a natural fit. The demonstrated public health need compelled us to take action,” stated Warner.
Video gameplay has become one of the fastest-growing forms of entertainment, with more than 2.5 billion players worldwide and generating an estimated $159 billion in 2020. “While most people play for fun and entertainment, there is growing evidence that video gameplay can have profound and severe mental health implications for a small but critical percentage,” stated Warner.
The Foundations in Gaming Disorder virtual 15-hour course is designed to provide the essential knowledge needed to address at-risk gaming and gaming disorder, from prevention through treatment and recovery. Clinicians will be better equipped to screen, identify, and treat gaming disorder.
Prevention specialists will be better equipped to understand risk and protective factors and implement science-based prevention strategies. All will gain an understanding of the impacts on special populations as well as crucial connections of gaming disorder with other behavioral health and addictions issues.
This training will assist individuals to:
· Better understand—and feel ready to tackle– the world of gaming and problematic gaming
· Improve their understanding and relationships with friends and family who game
· Increase clinical skills to identify and treat gaming-related problems, gaming disorder, and more
To register or learn more, visit: www.whatisgamingdisorder.com
About the Evergreen Council on Problem Gambling:
The Evergreen Council on Problem Gambling is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization committed to providing services and programs for those with a gambling problem/gambling disorder, their families, employers, students, treatment professionals, and the greater community through gambling addiction treatment support, information and education, advocacy, research, and prevention efforts. We accomplish this through the daily execution of our Mission, Purpose, and Core Values. Founded in 1991, ECPG maintains a position of neutrality on gambling, recognizing that most people who gamble do so for recreation and suffer no serious problems. However, for some, gambling becomes a serious addiction, devastating to the individual and family. We invite you to explore our Website to learn about the many services we provide.
About the Massachusetts Council on Gaming in Health:
The Massachusetts Council on Gaming and Health (MACGH) is a statewide non-profit agency that promotes public health by mitigating the negative personal and community impacts of gambling and gaming. We accomplish our mission through training and education, federal and state advocacy, research and gaming play information, and prevention and recovery programs. We serve individuals who game and gamble and their loved ones. Since its inception in 1983, the Mass. Council has taken a neutral stance on legal gambling and gaming and worked with key stakeholders such as gaming operators, vendors, regulators, clinicians, people in recovery, and other community-based agencies.